A Father Made His Son A Prosthetic Hand, Using A 3D Printer. Epic Win.

Three years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands.

After coming across a video online with detailed instructions on how to use a 3D printer to specifically create prosthetic hands, he had a brilliant idea. This dad decided to create a custom hand that would eventually help his son with little things we normally take for granted, like picking up a water bottle or riding a bike.

(Source: CBS Evening News)

A normal prosthesis would have cost the family in upwards of $30,000, but Mr. McCarthy says the 3D printed hand cost him $5-$10 to create.

That cheap cost will easily allow the pair to experiment with different designs and change the size of the prosthetic as Leon grows older.

Share this delightful story and incredible father with your friends below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/3d-printed-hand/

Here Are 10 Points In The World Where Major Bodies Of Water Join Together… And They’re So Awesome.

A confluence is a geography term used to describe when two or more bodies of water meet. It usually used to refer to the point where two or more streams flow together, merging and creating a single stream. But it can also be where a tributary joins a larger river, as is the case in these ten examples below. These pictures of river confluence really show off the amazing contrast in color as two different rivers meet. In most of these examples it’s due to a wider, slower river that can carry more silt colliding with one that runs quicker, making them carry different types of earth. But in the case of the Jialing river in China, it’s due to human pollution.

1) Confluence of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers in Lytton, BC, Canada.

2) Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA.

3) Confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at Cairo, IL, USA.

4) Confluence of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers in Devprayag, India.

5) Confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes near Manaus, Brazil.

6) Confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers in Chongqing, China

7) Confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers in Koblenz, Germany.

8) Confluence of the Drava and Danuve Rivers near Osijek, Croatia.

9) Painting of the confluence of the Ilz, Danube, and Inn Rivers in Passau, Germany

10) Confluence of the Rhone and Arve Rivers in Geneva, Switzerland.

Interestingly the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, was founded in 1857 at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers. In English, the name literally means “muddy confluence”. Today, the confluence there isn’t very noticeable. Source: reddit Share these colliding rivers with your friends below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/rivers-colliding/

These 24 Awesome Facts About Space Will Blow You Away.

Planet Earth, our home, seems plenty big to most people living on it. It’s full of mysteries, unknown creatures, and history that we have yet to discover. Even though Earth is immense, it’s nothing compared to some of the giants in our solar system, our galaxy and the entire universe. Most people are drawn to learning more about space because of how alien and massive it is. Even if you know a lot of trivia about the universe, we’re willing to bet you didn’t know some of these strange and interesting facts. I was in awe of everything around me after reading this, even if it did make me feel insignificant and small.

1.) One spoonful of matter from a neutron star would weigh about 1 billion tons.

2.) Beyond Neptune, there may be an unknown object as big as the Earth orbiting the Sun.

3.) One day on Venus is longer than one year.

4.) One photon takes about 170,000 years to travel from the sun’s core to the surface.

5.) That same photon only takes 8 minutes to travel from the sun to your eyes.

6.) If you could compress Earth to the size of a marble, it would collapse on itself and become a black hole.

7.) 33 light years away, there is a planet that is completely covered in burning ice.

8.) An estimated 275 million stars are born every day.

9.) There’s a gas cloud in the Aquila constellation that contains enough alcohol to make 400 trillion pints of beer. Cheers!

10.) The Voyager 1 is the most distant human-made object we have ever sent into space.

11.) Astronauts claim that being in space smells like seared steak, hot metal, and welding fumes.

12.) And according to researchers, the center of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum.

13.) The Milky Way has 4 spiral arms and not 2 (which is how its depicted often in pop culture).

14.) Every year, the moon moves about 3.8cm away from the Earth.

15.) There’s more than 8,000 pieces of space junk floating around the Earth.

16.) Every century, the Earth’s rotation slows about 17 milliseconds.

17.) The Voyager 1 captured this photo. The circled dot is the Earth. It is the most distant image we have ever seen of our own planet.

18.) The Olympus Mons, the largest mountain on Mars, completely dwarfs Mount Everest.

19.) It’s also so wide, if you were standing at its base, the mountain would seem to stretch out past the horizon.

20.) The sun makes up 99% of the mass of our solar system.

21.) There is a diamond planet in our galaxy that is bigger than Earth.

22.) When you cry in space, the tears just stick to your eyes and face.

23.) On planet HD189733b, shards of glass rain down from the sky – sideways.

24.) If you could fit Saturn into a bathtub filled with water, it would float.

(H/T: Izismile) These facts are the kinds of things that more people should know. We live in an almost-magical universe, a giant secret that is just waiting to be revealed. Spread the knowledge by clicking the Share button below. This information is just too good to keep to yourself.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/facts-about-space/

You Know Animals Are Awesome, But Animal Astronauts Are Out Of This World.

We’ve all heard stories of animal heroes, but what about animals that were true pioneers? Did you know that the first astronauts were actually cuddly little animals? It’s true! Scientists were afraid of the effects of space travel would be hazardous to humans, so they sent animals up instead. Here are some of the brave animals who made giant leaps for humankind.

Unfortunately, the majority of the animals sent into space didn’t have a safe journey back home. RIP brave animal astronauts!

This weird obsession with lobbing animals at the sky started in 1783 when the Montgolfier Brothers invented the hot air balloon.

Instead of putting a convicted criminal in the balloon during its first public test flight like the king wanted, the brothers instead gathered a ragtag team of a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The animals never left the Earth’s atmosphere, but man was it adorable.

The first living creatures to actually enter outer space were two fruit flies in 1947.

There were shot up 68 miles into the atmosphere in a captured Nazi V-2 and actually survived the landing.

In 1949 Albert I the rhesus monkey became the first mammal to leave the planet.

Unfortunately, unlike his fruit fly predecessors, Albert suffocated and died while in flight.

It was actually Albert II, another rhesus monkey who passed the Karmin line, which is the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space.

This Albert survived the flight, but unfortunately his died during his descent back to Earth due to a parachute malfunction. So sad.

The first monkey to survive the trip to space was named Yorick.

In 1951 Yorick, who was also called Albert IV, did what the three Alberts before him couldn’t do and was launched into space with fuzzy crew of 11 mice and returned back to Earth without a scratch.

Laika the terrier-husky mix, seen here at the controls of her vessel, became the first animal to orbit the Earth in 1957.

Unfortunately her Soviet Sputnik mission was intended to be a suicide mission. The Russians were to feed her poisoned food after a couple days so she wouldn’t starve to death up there, but never got the chance—she was killed by the extreme heat of her own engines.

In 1959 the Soviets launched to more dogs up into space, along with a rabbit named Marfusha, because I guess why not?

The three survived and based on this picture I like to think they hung out a lot afterwards.

Ham the chimpanzee made a historic flight in 1961.

The little guy flew 157 miles into the air, and his survival opened the door of possibility for human space travel.

The French feline, Felicette was the first cat to reach space in 1963.

She was trained to sit in that harness for the remainder of her flight, which sounds impressive to anyone who has ever tried to make any cat ever sit still.

In 1968 the Soviets shot a couple of turtles around the moon.

The Soviets never named the tortoises, which is annoying because the name Gamera is sitting right there!

 Thanks animals! Your contributions to science will not be forgotten. You are the true guardians of the galaxy.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/animal-astronauts/

What’s Stacked Up In A Pile In The Grand Canyon Is Seriously Crazy. How Is This Possible?

Think of everyone that is currently alive on Earth. That is 7.2 billion people. We have caused wars, climate change and countless other large-scale events. Now, what do you think 7.2 billion people would look like all in one place. (You would think a race capable of doing such important things would look pretty impressive.) The Vsauce video channel decided to do an experiment and estimate what the world’s population would look like all in one place like the Grand Canyon. The result was not what we expected.

The 7.2 BILLION people on Earth would only form this small pile in the Grand Canyon.

Billions of people don’t even come close to filling the Grand Canyon. In fact, the world’s population only creates a small pile. If you took all of humanity throughout history (an estimated 106 billion) and put them in the Grand Canyon, it would only make 15 piles across the landmark and wouldn’t even fill it completely. The graphic is based on data visualization blogger Eesmyal Santos-Brault ’s work. If this fun fact interested you, then watch How Many Things Are There on the Vsauce YouTube channel. Your brain will hurt after this.

Source: Vsauce Share this amazing fact with others. It’ll make them reconsider… everything.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/grand-canyon-bodies/

What Did Scientists Do Before Cameras? They Drew Their Specimens Of Course.

Scientists didn’t always have fancy cameras. Capturing an image of their specimens or experiments used to be a huge ordeal. Before the modern era, scientists were also artists. They illustrated what they saw in the wild or in the laboratory. 

Most scientists nowadays are probably happy they don’t need to double major in art. It is fascinating though to imagine a scientist working for hours and hours on pictures for their next book or publication. Here are a few of our favorite old school science drawings. 

Animal species through time. From Popular Science Monthly, September 1905.

Moths from the early 1900’s.

Some mushrooms from 1855.

Majestic falcon from a book documenting the birds of Germany.

Watch out! From the mid 1700’s.

Illustration from a turn of the century encyclopedia.

I do not want to step on these mushrooms. From 1895.

The principle lymph vessels, 1969.

Before space photography.

A subtle bit of nature from 1925.

Whoa. From 1849.

From a book about the history of cranes, 1881.

Beautiful illustration from 1921.

Diagram from the early 1800’s.

Frogs in the South Pacific, 1923.

Reptile blood vessels, 1869.

More mushrooms because why not. From 1822.

Sketches of animal history from the early 1800’s.

Beautiful illustration from 1921.

Beautiful, and informative. Not only were these scientists brilliant thinkers, they were talented artists. Don’t forget to share this story on Facebook by clicking below.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/science-art/

Not Only Is This A Dream House, It’s Also Full Of Something Awesome.

This multi-million dollar mansion isn’t just a multi-million dollar mansion; it’s an automobile showroom, too. You technically don’t have to be a car lover to want to live in this dream home, but it sure would help.

The only way a car enthusiast could love this house more is if it had wheels. Then again, if you have any money leftover after purchasing it, you could probably arrange for such a thing (for an additional couple million, of course). Take a look at this car lover’s dream home, and you’ll never being able to look at another house the same way again.

(via izismile)

That’s certainly one way to get that new car smell inside of your house. Personally, I would have just bought one of those air-freshening cardboard trees, but it’s not like I entertain too often.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/dream-home-for-car-lovers/

When A Brilliant Computer Science Student Decides To Make An Epic Creation, You Get This… Whoa.

This enormous structure may look just like a toy, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a machine… made from toys. Austin Granger, a University of Minnesota computer science student, dedicated 250 hours of work and over 100,000 K’Nex pieces to create this work of art that stands over 23 feet tall and is displayed at The Works Museum. Who knew that K’Nex could be used for something so awesome (and not just destroying fingertips).

Not only is the machine impressively tall, it’s strong, too.

There are no adhesives involved at all, just K’Nex snapped together.

“There are 8 tracks. The ball goes through 7 rocker switches to get to them, and they are evenly distributed so there is a 1 in 8 chance of any ball going down any track.”

“The longest path wraps around the ceiling of the lobby, it takes 45 seconds to complete.”

The machine’s creator designed it as he went along.

The museum attempted to approach K’Nex, asking for funding, but the company wasn’t interested.

So its construction relied only on donations.

Austin used donated K’Nex pieces and those he found online for a discounted price.

Now that’s 250 hours of childhood nostalgia well spent. Austin answered the inevitable concern of whether this can withstand a kid trying to knock it over: “The main support towers are incredibly strong, and are designed to withstand well over twice the load they would ever need to. During construction, I would set my large boxes of K’nex on the towers for easy access, as well as stress testing. Since this is in a public place, everything had to be designed to withstand whatever a little kid can throw at it.” Source: reddit.com / The Works Museum Share this student’s awesome creation with others.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/knex-machine/

You’d Really Have To Love Where You Live To Know It Could Kill You Any Day… Kinda Like This.

If someone were to tell me that they were living on or even near a live volcano, I’d look at them like they were crazy (because they would be). However, that’s exactly what hundreds of people are doing on the tiny Japanese island of Aogashima. Every day, they are risking their safety so that they can live at the bottom of a volcanic crater. They literally love living on the edge.

Aogashima is under Japanese control, even though its located in the Philippine Sea, which is far from the country’s capital. That’s not the strangest thing about this island, though.

This island is actually an active Class C volcano.

It hasn’t erupted since the 1780s, but when it did, it killed half of the island’s population.

It took people 50 years to return and now about 200 people live on the island.

This giant island crater is usually only accessible by boat, but there are helicopter services in the area as well.

Once children on the island get old enough, they have to leave in order to go to high school on the mainland.

There’s not much to do on the island, unless you like saunas that are created by massive amounts of geothermal heat.

Although it is beautiful, it’s hard to imagine why someone would want to live on such an isolated and dangerous island, especially with a family. It is impossible to argue taste in volcanic islands, though.

Source: amusingplanet.com

Click the button below to share this unusual home with others.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/volcanic-island/

A respectful response to every question posed.

A respectful response to every question posed.

I am obviously not Bill Nye. However, as someone that grew up with him I do believe that he is influencing young minds in a positive way. He is teaching them to be curious, to seek knowledge whenever possible and to be respectful to others. Whether it is in a scientific field or exploring their own faith children and adults should always be curious and want to learn more. That is what Bill Nye Stands for.

A respectful response to every question posed.

I know it is a frightening thought, but as an agnostic myself. I do not believe that there needs to be a meaning of life. I struggle with this on occasion because if there is no overwhelming purpose to existence life can feel insignificant.

A respectful response to every question posed.

This is actually the question that inspired me to respond to all of these. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system never decreases as everything moves toward a state of maximum entropy.
Now this basically means that everything all the time is getting more and more chaotic. Though to be honest it has more to do with heat than biology. In fact this law really has very little to do with biology. However, when we apply it to biology and DNA replication the increase in entropy means that the replication will not be perfect due in part to the difference in energy for mismatch bonds. If the entropy decreased we would see a trend toward more homogenized species, which we clearly do not. As more mutations occur this actually encourages adaption and evolution within species.

EDIT: I have been informed by numerous commentors and messages that the second law can not be applied to life due to it not being a closed system. I never claimed to be a physicist and I recognize this. However, my response here is meant to reflect applying it to the system and showing that it does not refute anything.
All biological mechanisms move toward the state of higher entropy and a small number of mutations are caused directly by the energy difference of mismatched bonds. While I admit that applying the second law to life is not accurate if we do so as a model, we see that it still does encourage mutation.

I don't believe that responding with "It simply doesn't apply" to this bearded gentlemen would have been in the spirit of this post.

A respectful response to every question posed.

This is a really good question. The short answer is yes, by chance. The long answer is that we do not know exactly when the first single cell organisms appeared, we know that they have existed for at least 3 billion years. As far as it happening on it's own, you have to remember that the climate on Earth was very different than it is today. It was significantly warmer and there was little to no oxygen in the atmosphere.
This experiment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment took place in 1953. Miller and Urey mimicked a pre-historic Earth environment and showed naturally forming amino acids, precursors to proteins.
Another more recent study created a self replicating RNA strand. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16382-artificial-molecule-evolves-in-the-lab.html

EDIT: The Miller-Urey experiment is more of a proof of concept than a literal explanation of how proteins formed billions of years ago. It has come under criticism for not accurately replicating ancient Earth conditions.

A respectful response to every question posed.

I am assuming that this is referring to the so-called "missing link" in human evolution. Where Lucy would be the nearly complete Australopithecus skeleton. This Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils#Human_evolution actually shows just a few of the evolutionary steps between our common ape-like ancestors and modern humans. One thing that should be noted is that modern apes are not the creatures we evolved from. Evolution doesn't hold still, while we did evolve from apes, the ones that exist today evolved along side us on a different evolutionary path.

Edit: A lot of people are mad that I said we evolved from apes. I honestly don't see the problem since the term apes can refer to really any of the hominidae species, not just modern day great apes. However, for clarity I've changed my wording above.

A respectful response to every question posed.

This is a tough one to stay respectful on. Essentially yes. It is illogical. Which isn't to say that you absolutely must be incorrect. Logic needs to be based on a clear path of reasoning. However, an all-powerful creator god would not be constrained to a logical universe. So if God did create the world whole, he did so in a way that defies reason. Which is essentially what would make him God. I should point out however that according to the Bible even God took a few days to create the world.

A respectful response to every question posed.

While I understand where you're coming from with this, we actually do have evidence of the Big Bang. Namely, the universe is still spreading outward. http://www.universetoday.com/106498/what-is-the-evidence-for-the-big-bang/ this website has some pretty good info on this. I'm not a physicist so this is not my strong suit.

A respectful response to every question posed.

This is actually grouping a lot of people together under a belief that is not very widely believed. There is some evidence that the first sparks of life on earth may have fallen in a meteor shower about 3.8 billion years ago but I personally do not believe in any intelligent design due to extraterrestrial interference. I also want to point out that some theists believe that there is a god but he set evolution in place rather than a literal Garden of Eden.

A respectful response to every question posed.

The short answer is no, I am not. I'm striving to remain respectful but I find this question deeply offensive. The problem I have with this line of thinking is that you want me to be afraid of God. Who is supposed to love us unconditionally but will punish me if I don't worship. If God exists and he is benevolent then he will love me no matter who or what I am and the idea that he will spank me if I don't worship him in a specific way is harmful to society. We should not be afraid to be who or what we are because if there is a creator he created us in his image. That's all I'm going to say on this.

A respectful response to every question posed.

I'm not an astrophysicist, however my limited knowledge on the Big Bang does not involve an exploding star. I honestly have no idea what existed before the Big Bang. I would love to talk to a physicist about this. I feel like this is where a creator god and science get the closest together. If a god sparked the Big Bang it could reconcile the two. Again this is not my field, I apologize for not knowing more about it.

Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/EgdN1